Recruiting new employees part three – induction

By KMC Human Resources

20 Jun 2016

We’ve recently been looking at how to improve the process of taking on new staff in a series of blogs on the recruitment process. Here, we turn to the final chapter in the series – induction.

At the outset, it is important to point out that induction is one of the most crucial parts of taking on new staff. You may think that as soon as you have interviewed and selected the person for the role that that is where your work ends. However, this is just the beginning.

Get the paperwork sorted.Whilst the law states that you only need to issue an employment contract within 8 weeks of the starting date, it is always advisable to do this at the earliest opportunity. I would recommend sending the contract with your offer letter. After all, you want your new employee to be fully signed up to your terms when they join the company. Ensure to get a signed copy back for your records, preferably on or before the date of the employee starting the job.

If you have a digital personnel system, get the new employee added straight away. KMC HR is an accredited partner of BreatheHR should you wish to discuss setting up an online HR management system for your business. This will remind you when important dates are coming up, eg end of probation reviews or driving licence checks, so you don’t miss anything.

Be organised.Nothing gives a worse impression to a new member of staff than turning up to their first day of work and no-one knowing who they are or what to do with them. Be sure to send an email round to all relevant staff members informing them of the new arrival’s name, when they will be starting and the role they will be undertaking. If possible, assign one individual to plan and manage the new recruit’s first day. Ensure there is a schedule of activity in place, to cover introductions to the team, the completion of paperwork and any training. Remember that first impressions count; new employees will be trying to suss out if your company is for them just as must as you might be doing the same about them!

Cover all the legal bases.As an employer, it is your job to undertake the necessary checks to ensure that an employee you take on has the right to work in the UK. Failure to do so can lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. Make sure you ask for and take a copy of documentation for all new starters to the company. Don’t forget to sign the copy to confirm that you’ve seen the original, as well as date it. If an employee has a limited right to work in the UK, it is the employer’s responsibility to conduct ongoing checks; at least once every 12 months or at the point when the permit is due to expire.

Establish training needs.Remember that each individual will have different backgrounds and skills and therefore have differing training needs. For example, someone who is straight out of university may be technologically savvy but perhaps lacking some of the ‘softer skills’ regarding the day to day work environment. However, someone who has worked in a similar work environment for many years in different companies will be well versed in this, but will need bringing up to speed on the systems and processes specific to your company. If you are the manager in charge of looking after the new recruit, take time to have an in depth chat with the new employee to establish their particular training needs.

Probation or not?Many employers choose to have a probationary period – often of six months – to allow new employees to settle in. At the end of this period, should performance not be meeting the required or anticipated standards, employers are quite within their rights not to extend the employment contract into a permanent one. Make sure though that the employee knows how their performance will be assessed during probation and what it expected of them. Schedule regular reviews during the probationary period so you can address any matters of concern at an early stage.

In addition to probationary reviews, setting review meetings with all staff members at regular intervals is also good practice. However, don’t wait until a review meeting to address a matter of concern, or to congratulate an employee on a job well done. Day-to-day communication is also important.

Taking on new staff can be a time consuming and potentially costly process. Following the steps above will help to give you and your new staff member the best chance of making a success of the appointment. For tailored advice specific to your business, please contact us. We offer a free one hour consultation to any business that is new to KMC HR.

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